McGarrigle Christmas Hour

McGarrigle Christmas Hour

by Kate & Anna McGarrigle
     
 

Imagine the McGarrigle household around Christmas: With veteran folkies Kate and Anna McGarrigle as the matriarchs of a clan that includes Kate's kids, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Anna's daughter, Lilly Lanken, and an extended family that includes Emmylou Harris, it must be a magical experience when they gather to sing carols and tell stories. The McGarrigleSee more details below

Overview

Imagine the McGarrigle household around Christmas: With veteran folkies Kate and Anna McGarrigle as the matriarchs of a clan that includes Kate's kids, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Anna's daughter, Lilly Lanken, and an extended family that includes Emmylou Harris, it must be a magical experience when they gather to sing carols and tell stories. The McGarrigle Family Christmas Hour allows us to become honorary guests at the family Christmas party. As in 1998's charming The McGarrigle Hour, family members trade leads and collaborate in varying permutations, this time singing traditional carols, original seasonal tunes, and other holiday fare. After the full-family chorales of “Seven Joys of Mary” and “Old Waits Carol,” Harris takes the lead for a haunting “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and from there, everyone takes turns in the spotlight. The elder McGarrigles anchor the proceedings, often providing backing on acoustic guitar, accordion, piano, and other instruments, and they helm the French carols “Il Est Né/Ça Bergers” and the originals “Port Starboard Sox” and “Wise Men.” Rufus sings his own satiric “Spotlight on Christmas” and the classic “What Are You Doing New Year's Eve,” and he duets with his sister Martha on “Some Children See Him.” Martha contributes a typically acerbic original, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” and duets with cousin Lilly on Jackson Browne's “Rebel Jesus.” Convivial, charming, and understated, The McGarrigle Family Christmas Hour lasts just over 52 minutes, but what's a few minutes among friends? It's a treat just to be invited.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Seven years after the release of their 1998 album The McGarrigle Hour, Kate & Anna McGarrigle have crafted a holiday album in much the same manner, which means they've brought together members of their family (including Kate's children Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright, both of whom have been enjoying successful solo careers), longtime collaborators (such as Chaim Tannenbaum), and talented friends (among them Emmylou Harris and Teddy Thompson) for a collection of Christmas songs. Much like The McGarrigle Hour, The McGarrigle Christmas Hour is short on new compositions from Kate and Anna (just three songs, though Rufus and Martha each bring in a new tune of their own), and given the wealth of guests, it seems curious that the McGarrigles, among the most gifted singers and songwriters extant, have chosen to make themselves mere supporting players on their own album. (There are three selections on which they don't appear at all.) But while certain passionate fans may quibble, this is still an ambitious and impressively diverse set of holiday songs, ranging from the pure-voiced piety of "Seven Joys of Mary" to the seductive yuletide romance of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" and a well-mannered but passionate cover of Jackson Browne's "The Rebel Jesus." Rufus and Martha's contributions rank with the better moments from their own records, Emmylou Harris's version of "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" is lovely (as is Chaim Tannenbaum's "Blue Christmas"), and on the rare moments when Kate & Anna McGarrigle do step to the forefront, their harmonies are as strikingly beautiful as ever (and "Wise Men" and " Port Starboard Sox" show they're still superb songwriters). The McGarrigle Christmas Hour isn't the new McGarrigle sisters album we've been waiting for, but it isn't a holiday-themed throwaway either, and for that we can all be grateful.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/01/2005
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597992526
catalogNumber:
79925
Rank:
34384

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kate & Anna McGarrigle   Primary Artist
Emmylou Harris   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Pat Donaldson   Choir, Chorus
Dane Lanken   Trumpet,Choir, Chorus
David Mansfield   Violin
Pierre Marchand   Bass,Flute,Drums
Janie McGarrigle   Piano,Choir, Chorus
Anna McGarrigle   Synthesizer,Piano,Accordion,Vocals,Voices,Choir, Chorus,Banjar
Duke McVinnie   Electric Guitar
Chaim Tannenbaum   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Vocal Harmony
Joel Zifkin   Guitar,Violin,Choir, Chorus
Beth Orton   Choir, Chorus
Kate McGarrigle   Guitar,Piano,Accordion,Vocals,Voices,Choir, Chorus,Classical Guitar
Martha Wainwright   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Voices,Choir, Chorus,Bells,Vocal Harmony
Rufus Wainwright   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Bells
Michel Pepin   Bass,Dobro,Guitar
Jody Golick   Tenor Saxophone,Choir, Chorus,Penny Whistle
Jacquelyn McKeever   Choir, Chorus
Brad Albetta   Percussion
Janel Adams   Choir, Chorus
George Javori   Drums,Bells
John McColgan   Drums
Teddy Thompson   Electric Guitar,Bells,Vocal Harmony
Andrew Hall   Bass
Michael Wilson   Tenor Trombone
Trevor Dix   Bass Trombone
Lily Lanken   Voices,Choir, Chorus,Vocal Harmony
Matt Johnson   Drums
Tom Mennier   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Choir, Chorus
Jordi Rosen   Choir, Chorus
Danielle Bolduc   Choir, Chorus
Ian Vincenzo Dow   Recitation
Campbell Hendrey   Choir, Chorus
Sylvan Lanken   Choir, Chorus
Ruben Mahr   Choir, Chorus
Éloi Painchaud   Guitar
Partice Richer   Tenor Trombone

Technical Credits

Jackson Browne   Composer
Frank Loesser   Composer
Pat Donaldson   Composer,Engineer
Nicholas Hill   Producer
Dane Lanken   Composer
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
Pierre Marchand   Engineer
Anna McGarrigle   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Frank Opolko   Engineer
Greg Prestopino   Engineer,Vocal Producer
Kate McGarrigle   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Martha Wainwright   Composer
Rufus Wainwright   Composer,Producer
Tom Schick   Engineer
Michel Pepin   Engineer
Rob Heaney   Engineer
Brian Fulk   Engineer
Brad Albetta   Engineer
Matt Andrews   Engineer
Don Murnaghan   Engineer
Pierre Plante   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Borza Ghomeshi   Engineer
Tom Mennier   Horn Arrangements,Piano Arrangement
Robert Edridge Waks   Editorial Coordinator
Vinnie Dow   Contributor
Marc André Bellefluer   Engineer
Ian Vincenzo Dow   Composer
Howard Kingsnorth   Cover Photo
Alfred S. Burt   Composer

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